Not Always Sunshine and Roses


| 8/8/2012 12:00:53 PM


Tags: Chickens, Pigs, Cub Cadet, Garden Tractor Pulling, Gardening, , Jessica Wilhelm,

It’s been an interesting few days to say the least.  There is never a dull moment around here even if the girls whine on occasion that they are bored out of their minds!!  

 Henny Penny Houdini 

On a positive note the hens are laying like crazy. They are still obsessed with the first nesting box though.  A few of them use two and three but mostly they fight over one.  I think they are starting to take turns now that they are getting this laying thing down pat.  Henny Penny insists on laying her egg in the feed room though.  I may add Houdini to the end of her name considering that she manages to get out and back in without tearing anything down. We are up to a dozen eggs a day so far.  It seems like each day or so we add another egg to the daily count.  I even bought the girls one of the red wire baskets to collect the eggs in.  They are tickled pink and carry that basket faithfully even if they only bring in one egg during that particular egg checking run!!  Liza has become the egg warden.  She keeps track of how many eggs come in, inspects them, and then puts them in cartons and has them organized in the fridge by date.  It’s amazing that during school we struggle with math but when it comes to eggs both Eliza and Aurora can add in their heads without any hesitation.  The chickens may be of more help than just providing food!

 Awesome Homegrown Eggs 

So now I’ll move onto the not so positive yet enlightening happenings of the past few days.

Our beautiful garden looks like a train wreck.  I have absolutely no love for skunks or deer at the present moment.  Chad and the chickens are even in a little bit of hot water!  The skunks have been hanging around the house and have even so graciously sprayed the front door.  I would imagine Otis spooked them.  Yes, them. Plural.  Two to be exact.  For future reference you can throw fire crackers that only emit a seizure inducing light show out the door at them and they will run to the other side of the driveway while you grab the phone out of the rain that you left on the ledge…just saying.  We are going to battle out the rest of the gardening season but there will be some sort of fence put up around it next year.  We have also been battling a bit of blossom end rot.  I love the fact that we are learning so many new things that will only make our garden better next year.  Unless you have awesome, self-adjusting soil, it takes a little bit of effort to be able to grow a bountiful garden.  Calcium levels are important for preventing blossom end rot.  Too much or too little water can throw the levels off.  I have read that putting eggs shells in with the plants at planting time is a huge help.  We applied a commercial fertilizer that included calcium this year but next year the egg shells are going it.  We have also learned that while fertilizer is a good thing, it can also be a hindrance at the same time by producing huge plants with no yield.  Chad is a fertilizing maniac.  I’ve kept him at bay this year and I think it is helping a lot.  Over fertilizing can also affect the magnesium levels of pepper plants and keep them from producing.  So with those few tid bits in hand, it’s only August and I’m already planning for next spring!! 

nebraska dave
8/9/2012 3:07:42 PM

Jessica, it's good to hear from you again. Country life don't always work out the way we think it should. It's hard to defeat that circle of life thing. Pigs do eat just about anything. I have seen them eat the boards right out of a wooden corn crib to get to the corn. There's not much they won't eat. They eat bugs, grubs, roots, fish and just about anything that grows or lives. I once saw a big old mama sow walk out into a lake and chomp down on a big five pound or better carp. It was the most amazing thing. Bears and pigs are in the family so I shouldn't have been surprised. They are indeed an eating machine. Thanks for sharing your country experiences with us. Have a great day on the homestead.





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